Akkeshi Blended Whisky Usui
It is the second long-awaited Akegishi whiskey “24 Setsuki series”. This is the first release in about four months since the last Akkeshi Single Malt Whisky Cold Dew was released on October 28, 2020. This 24th season series is scheduled to release single malt and blended alternately, and since it was a single malt last time, it will be blended whiskey this time. “24 seasons” is a name that represents the season by 24 equally for one year, and this includes “立春（Risshun)” and “夏至(Geshi)” that we often hear. Rainwater is the second of the 24 seasons, and it is said that it is “the time when the atmosphere becomes warm and the snow changes to water”.
The 24 solar terms are not fixed, so the date changes from year to year, but in 2021, “雨水(Usui)” will be February 18. It refers to the 15 days or so leading up to the third day of the year, “啓蟄(Keichitsu)”, on March 5.
More than 50% of Akkeshi malt whisky, the peat feeling peculiar to Akkeshi and the harmony of Scottish grain
The 2017 grain base is aged in bourbon barrels and mixed with at least 50% of Akkeshi malt base.
The Scottish grain, imported unaged, was casked at the Akkeshi distillery and matured next to the Akkeshi malt for more than three years, resulting in a grain whisky that goes very well with the Akkeshi malt. The sweet, fragrant peat feeling of Akkeshi malt and the lightness of grain combine to create a gorgeous harmony.
The blend is from 2016 and 2017, the aging barrels are bourbon, sherry, and wine barrels, and the key malt is mizunara (Mongolian oak) barrels.
Dark cacao, custard pudding, raisins and citrus-like aromas
|Taste||Refreshing taste of lemon, lime and orange curacao|
|Lingering||White pepper-like spicy, milk chocolate-like sweetness continues|
|Barrel type||Bourbon barrels, sherry barrels, wine barrels, mizunara (Mongolian oak) barrels|
|Number of sales||15,000 bottles|
|Suggested retail price||10,000 yen (excluding tax)|
|Release date||February 28, 2021|
This 24th season series seems to release single malt and blended alternately. It will be “24 seasons = 24 types of whisky”, and it is said that 3 to 4 pieces will be released annually. If it were three times a year, it would take eight years to complete the series. I’d love to complete it by all means.
In the future, they will also challenge the cultivation of barley, which is the raw material for whiskey, in Akkeshi, and in the future we aim to make whiskey of “Akkeshi All Star”, including peat and wooden barrels for aging. In addition, they efforts to use Hokkaido barley (Furano, Nakashibetsu) as raw materials are also strengthened, and the cost of Hokkaido barley used as a test in 2018 is more than twice that of Scottish, and the alcohol yield is about 80 to 90%, but the flavor is Japanese taste (warm tangerines, roasted chestnuts, roasted sweet potatoes), but the flavor is suitable for Japanese whisky. Since 2019, about 10% of the whisky produced from Hokkaido barley has been produced. I can’t wait to see when the next release of the 24th Season series will be.
(All Images Courtesy of JPWhisky.net)
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